We drove to Cairns early this morning to catch our boat out to the Great Barrier Reef!! This was a must do for us when we decided to head back to Australia. We weren’t sure how well it was going to work with two young kids but it couldn’t have gone better!
Instead of overnighting on a boat out on the reef we went with a day trip on a huge catamaran. We decided on this because we weren’t sure trapping two small kids on a small boat for several days was a great idea. Also we’re traveling with my mom, who is older and having more amenities is typically easier.
We traveled an hour out to Fitzroy Island, dropped passengers off then continued for another hour to the reef catamaran. The boat moved fairly quickly in the water and the seas seemed a bit rough. There was quite a few passengers getting sick. Ty and R had to sit outside for a while as well. Thankfully though that was the worst of it for us.
After we stopped we got changed into suits and had lunch. The one thing we missed he memo on was having to bring your own towel. Which became a bit of a factor at the end of the day.
After lunch we were ready to jump in!
Thanks to Nana for buying the boat photo we actually have proof of the kids first snorkel adventure.
R was a natural at snorkeling. She loved it! L just used his goggles. He’d hang onto my arm and dunk his head in. We made it around the whole enclosure before he started getting too cold. He also got a bit freaked out by all the jellyfish that were around. We’ve spent the last week talking about how the jellyfish are dangerous and will sting you. Then the first thing we see when we start snorkeling is that we’re surrounded by these tiny little jellies. I’ll admit I may have freaked out for a moment as well. ☺️
I brought the kids up to the top to dry off and warm up on the beanbags.
Ty took Nana on a tour of the drop off and they saw an amazing turquoise giant clam.
We also took a tour on the submersible boat. I’m so glad this wasn’t our only way to see the reef. This was quite a small glimpse and very limited fish viewing. But fun to experience.
R wanted us to be the last ones off the boat.
The kids were finally ready to conquer the water slide by this point.
This may not have been the most pure way to visit the GBR but it worked perfectly for us. Nana and I snuck in a last bit of snorkeling in the last ten minutes. Which was wonderful, however when it was time to board the boat again, we were dripping wet. So instead of getting to sit in chairs we relegated ourselves to the front steps. Not ideal but we made it work. The lovely Asian couple next to us were very taken with the kids. They took a few photos with the kids before R and L we’re a bit weirded out. 😄
We had decided to stay the night on Fitzroy island. So after an hour on the boat we were dropped off at the hotel. We had quite a walk in the dark jungle to get to our bungalow but we were able to hear the frogs loud and clear.
To purchase any food or drinks on the island is quite expensive, think $15 bar drinks! But the location can’t be beat. It really was beautiful.
We were all exhausted by a very active day and in bed by 9. This has turned into our regular vacation bedtime. Followed by being woken up by the sun at 6am. No one seems to believe in blinds.